Liverpool 2:1 Leicester City
City were seconds away from a earning a point at Anfield on Saturday when a last minute penalty handed victory to Liverpool…
Brendan Rodgers made one change to his side as he returned his former club for the first time, with Maddison replacing Pérez.
Liverpool, looking to extend their 100% record this season, pressed City hard in the opening spell, and should have gone ahead in the 13th minute. Alexander-Arnold skinned Chilwell on the byline and crossed for an unmarked Milner, who volleyed over from 8 yards.
But City gradually managed to get a footing in the game, with Praet looking very impressive, and they forced a couple of corners.
Liverpool were misfiring up front and when Mané did get a sight of goal he fired his shot straight at Schmeichel.
A tight game was getting niggly, with Ndidi booked for a high foot on Milner, Alexander-Arnold escaping a card for catching Tielemans on the achilles, and Robertson seeing yellow for a foul on Maddison. From the resulting free-kick Söyüncü’s firm header forced a good save from Adrián, but the offside flag was raised.
It was an even contest at this point, but Liverpool took the lead five minutes before the break. A superb long ball up the left from Milner tempted Evans to try and intercept, but he couldn’t reach it and Mané raced through and fired a low shot into the bottom right hand corner.
Just before the break Barnes sent Vardy into the area but he was crowded out by the Reds’ defence.
Brendan Rodgers made a change for the second half bringing Albrighton on for Barnes. Soon after the restart Liverpool went close when Alexander-Arnold played a low ball in the six yard area and Salah got a tough on the stretch, but Schmeichel reacted well to parry it away.
Söyüncü then earned himself a yellow card, pulling Salah’s arm just before the Egyptian entered the penalty area.
Salah and Mané then passed their way through the City back line before Evans produced a fine tackle to deny the latter as he shaped to shoot.
In the final half hour the game opened up and more chances were created. Albrighton found Vardy with a great ball behind the defence but his chest down had too much weight allowing Adrián to come out and block.
At the other end Robertson went clear on goal down the left and blasted a fierce shot that knocked Schmeichel off his feet when he blocked it.
As play moved from end to end, a cross into Liverpool’s area was half cleared to Praet, who connected beautifully with a low shot, but it went inches wide of the left hand post. He was then replaced by Pérez.
City finally made a breakthrough in the 80th minute. With his back to goal, Pérez neatly controlled, turned and threaded a ball through to Maddison who slotted the ball under Adrián.
Choudhury replaced Maddison with four minutes remaining and soon found himself in the book for a heavy challenge on Salah.
As the game entered four minutes of time added on it looked as though Liverpool’s winning run was at an end, but there was to be a sting in the tail.
Albrighton won a challenge with Origi but the ball went into the penalty area, with Schmeichel coming out to claim but Mané threatening Albrighton tried to retain possession. Mané robbed him of the ball and then threw himself to the floor after the merest contact with his left foot. Unfortunately referee Chris Kavanagh bought it and pointed to the spot. VAR chose not to overrule a clear and obvious error and Milner sent Schmeichel the wrong way with his penalty.
Although City attempted a late barrage on Liverpool’s goal the Reds winning run continued.
After the final whistle Pérez was enraged at something Robertson had done and the pair had to be kept apart.
It was a tough way to lose after City had matched the European Champions, but City’s display, if not the result, underlined City’s top six credentials.
Brendan Rodgers commented: “To come from a goal behind, it looked in that second period that we could go on and win the game. And to concede a goal when we were in control of the situation. I thought it was very soft penalty, I didn’t think it was a clear and obvious penalty, that’s for sure. But when the referee gives it, it’s probably hard for VAR to go against that, so it was disappointing.”
Liverpool: Adrián, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum (Henderson 78), Fabinho, Milner, Mané, Salah (Lallana 90), Firmino (Origi 78).
Substitutes: Keita, Gomez, Kelleher, Elliott.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Söyüncü, Chilwell, Ndidi, Barnes (Albrighton 45), Praet (Pérez 73), Tielemans, Maddison (Choudhury 86), Vardy.
Substitutes: Justin, Morgan, Gray, Ward.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh. Attendance: – –
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